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miR-181a decelerates proliferation in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma by targeting the proto-oncogene KRAS


Neu, Johannes; Dziunycz, Piotr Jan; Dzung, Andreas; Lefort, Karine; Falke, Martin; Denzler, Rémy; Freiberger, Sandra Nicole; Iotzova-Weiss, Guergana; Kuzmanov, Aleksandar; Levesque, Mitchell Paul; Dotto, Gian-Paolo; Hofbauer, Günther Franz L (2017). miR-181a decelerates proliferation in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma by targeting the proto-oncogene KRAS. PLoS ONE, 12(9):e0185028.

Abstract

Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common human skin cancer with a rapidly increasing incidence among the Caucasian population. Among the many regulators, responsible for cancer progression and growth, microRNAs (miRNA) are generally accepted as key players by now. In our current study we found that microRNA-181a (miR-181a) shows low abundance in SCC compared to normal epidermal skin. In vitro, miRNA downregulation in normal primary keratinocytes induced increased proliferation, while in vivo miR-181a downregulation in HaCaT normal keratinocytes showed tumor-like growth increase up to 50%. Inversely, upregulation of these miRNAs in cancer cells lead to reduced cellular proliferation and induction of apoptosis in vitro. An in vivo therapeutic model with induced miR-181a expression in SCC13 cancer cells reduced tumor formation in mice by 80%. Modulation of miR-181a levels showed an inverse correlation with the proto-oncogene KRAS both on mRNA and protein level by direct interaction. Knockdown of KRAS mimicked the anti-proliferative effects of miR-181a overexpression in patient-derived SCC cells and abolished the enhanced viability of HaCaT cells following miR-181a knockdown. Furthermore, phospho-ERK levels correlated with KRAS levels, suggesting that the observed effects were mediated via the MAPK signaling pathway. miR-181a seemed regulated during keratinocyte differentiation probably in order to amplify the tumor suppressive character of differentiation. Taken together, miR-181a plays a crucial tumor suppressive role in SCC by targeting KRAS and could be a promising candidate for a miRNA based therapy.

Abstract

Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common human skin cancer with a rapidly increasing incidence among the Caucasian population. Among the many regulators, responsible for cancer progression and growth, microRNAs (miRNA) are generally accepted as key players by now. In our current study we found that microRNA-181a (miR-181a) shows low abundance in SCC compared to normal epidermal skin. In vitro, miRNA downregulation in normal primary keratinocytes induced increased proliferation, while in vivo miR-181a downregulation in HaCaT normal keratinocytes showed tumor-like growth increase up to 50%. Inversely, upregulation of these miRNAs in cancer cells lead to reduced cellular proliferation and induction of apoptosis in vitro. An in vivo therapeutic model with induced miR-181a expression in SCC13 cancer cells reduced tumor formation in mice by 80%. Modulation of miR-181a levels showed an inverse correlation with the proto-oncogene KRAS both on mRNA and protein level by direct interaction. Knockdown of KRAS mimicked the anti-proliferative effects of miR-181a overexpression in patient-derived SCC cells and abolished the enhanced viability of HaCaT cells following miR-181a knockdown. Furthermore, phospho-ERK levels correlated with KRAS levels, suggesting that the observed effects were mediated via the MAPK signaling pathway. miR-181a seemed regulated during keratinocyte differentiation probably in order to amplify the tumor suppressive character of differentiation. Taken together, miR-181a plays a crucial tumor suppressive role in SCC by targeting KRAS and could be a promising candidate for a miRNA based therapy.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Dermatology Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:21 Sep 2017 10:35
Last Modified:21 Sep 2017 10:41
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185028
PubMed ID:28931048

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